As we ride we know calamity is just a matter of time. Murphy’s Law says, “If you ride you will crash.” It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when and how bad. We can take available Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses and we can ride with the right attitude. We can also keep watch for obstacles and hazards and evade as needed, but all that will, at some point, fail us when we meet that distracted driver or the deer that wants to cross the highway.
So, how can we ensure we will never crash? Well… you can’t. But you can prepare for that inevitable day and act accordingly. There is an organization out there called “Road Guardians” and their intent is to prepare riders for that day. Ask yourself, “What will you do if your lifelong friend has an accident?” How will you react? What do you have on hand that could be used to render aid to your friend? Do you know how to render aid?
There is a term used by medical practitioners, “The Golden Hour.” The Golden Hour is the amount of time that it should take to get from the accident to the hospital. Short of a catastrophic event, what happens within the first few minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Ask yourself one more question. How would you feel if your loved one crashed and you stood there and watched them die… not able to prevent it but knowing someone with the proper training and proper equipment could have saved them? The answer is obvious.
There are a few options available to you. One is to plan your rides to always stay within a block of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) station or Hospital. Another is never ride unless there is a fully equipped EMT riding with you. Yet another is to spend thousands of dollars on training and equipment to be an EMT yourself; shouldn’t take more than a year or two depending on your schedule.
But there is another option. This option is well within the grasp of every rider. Contact Road Guardians (www.roadguardians.org) and schedule yourself for Accident Scene Management (or you could say “A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist”). The Basic and Advance courses can be completed in a weekend. This will not make you an EMT, but it WILL prepare you and equip you with the resources needed to render aid for the most prevalent of injuries received in a motorcycle accident. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an advertisement for Road Guardians, but it is a call to action aimed at you to prepare yourself for that day. I’m not going to claim this as solid truth but am confident most deaths from motorcycle related accidents come from a lack of quickly administered aid. More often than not if an injured rider gets into the hands of an EMT they will survive. The key is to treat serious injury until the EMTs arrive. An inability to breathe and excessive bleeding will claim a life in a matter of minutes.
We travel the roads less traveled which means we are often 30 minutes (or more) from an EMT station. If you can control the breathing and bleeding of the victim there is a significant chance the rider will survive until the EMTs arrive. If you make no attempt then there is no chance. Some accidents are catastrophic and there is nothing anyone can do; death is instantaneous. Many accidents result in an injury that, if treated quickly using simple techniques, do not result in death, but if the injury is not treated quickly then death ensues.
Every responsible rider should know 1st Aid and carry a basic aid bag and also know how to manage a motorcycle accident scene. How would you feel if you could have saved your friend, but did not because you did not take the time to learn some very simple techniques?
The next move is yours; don’t wait. Rather than sit in your house during the winter and dream of riding you can take the time to properly prepare for riding; prepare for that day when your friend will need you the most.